Free Clinic Recognizes UMKC Student, Professor

Congratulations to Yasmin Hussein and Dr. Eileen Cocjin of the UMKC School of Medicine. They were recently honored by the JayDoc Free Clinic as its Dental Night Student Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer Dentist of the Year.

According to Hussein, a fourth-year dental student, being part of the JayDoc Free Clinic allows her to fulfill a desire to give back. “It’s being a part of something bigger than myself,” she said. “Through stressful clinic sessions and many credit hours, it is easy to forget my purpose in choosing to be part of health care and dentistry.”

Cocjin, a clinical assistant professor in the school’s Pediatric Dentistry Department, said being recognized was a “humbling honor.”

“This award can only result from dedicated students who are willing to go above and beyond what they are expected to do to satisfy their passion to help those who are less fortunate,” Cocjin said. “I serve as a guide for them for what they would like to accomplish when given the opportunity.”

The clinic at the University of Kansas Medical Center provides non-emergency urgent and preventive care to the uninsured and underinsured populations of Greater Kansas City. It is one of several ways UMKC students and faculty provide volunteer service and care. The clinic has served more than 1,000 patients a year since its 2003 launch.

Mansoor Safder, a third-year UMKC dental student who helps organize the volunteers along with another third-year student, Nuvia Lemus, said it was great to see Hussein and Cocjin recognized.

“They both have been instrumental this year in helping the JayDoc program provide an invaluable service to a very deserving community here in Kansas City,” Safder said.

Hussein added, “Volunteering is an important aspect of my life. It reminds me of my purpose while helping me gain a new perspective on life and what is truly important. The best feeling is leaving after a long day of clinic knowing that I had some impact on someone’s life. And what better way to give back than dentistry!”

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Pictured (left to right) are Nuvia Lemus (D3), Dr. Eileen Cocjin (Department of Pediatric Dentistry), Yasmin Hussein (D4), and Mansoor Safder (D3).